Greenbuddies NewsUpdates from the world of renewable energy

Greenbuddies tips – June 2020 22.06.2020

Electromobility in Germany

Germany without doubt has the largest e-mobility market potential in continental Europe. Therefore, it is of extreme interest to look at the current status and the plans of the German government to support the expected growth of electric vehicles in the coming decade.
As per Federal Government plans, a total of one million charging stations are to be available by 2030. The German government will promote the development of a network of public charging stations by 2025, and produce a master plan for the charging station infrastructure. It will make it mandatory for all petrol stations in Germany to provide charging stations. And more charging stations are to be installed on customer parking lots. Most charging will, however, take place at home or at the workplace. To this end, new legal provisions regarding the installation of charging infrastructure are being adopted to make landlords tolerate the installation of charging infrastructure on their properties.

Encouraging people to switch to electric vehicles

The premium scheme for people buying electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles is to be continued and extended to cover the purchase of vehicles costing less than 40,000 euros. The aim of the German government is to have between 7 and 10 million electric vehicles registered in Germany by 2030. First-time-registrations and retrofitted electric vehicles will initially pay no vehicle tax. This regulation is to be extended until 31 December 2025. Tax breaks for electric company vehicles are also to remain in place, with particularly attractive conditions for purely electric vehicles (up to a purchase price of 40,000 euros).
A premium scheme for the purchase of utility vehicles using alternative engine technology is planned to be introduced as of this year.

Consistent CO2-based reform of vehicle tax

The German government will gear vehicle tax more closely to the CO2 emissions of the vehicle and to this end produce a bill to reform vehicle tax for passenger cars. For vehicles registered for the first time as of 1 January 2021 tax will be calculated primarily on the basis of CO2 emissions per kilometre, and gradually increased above the level of 95 gCO2/km.
After the energy sector and industry the transport sector is the third largest producer of CO2 emissions, accounting for almost 19 per cent of the total. The vast majority of emissions in this sector come from road traffic. Private cars with internal combustion engines are responsible for just under 61 per cent of this. Since 1990 transport-related CO2 emissions have not decreased. Although vehicle technology has become more energy efficient, there are far more vehicles on the road than there were 30 years ago – 71 per cent more heavy goods traffic and 31 per cent more private cars. In Germany some 45 million private cars are registered. If the country is to achieve projected climate targets, more vehicles will have to become more efficient, and more climate-friendly.

A key question: will the power grid withstand the e-car boom?

Cars in Germany drive an average of 13,800 kilometers a year – a total of 621 billion kilometers.
Based on the amount of energy that an average electric car needs today under real conditions, it is easy to calculate how much electricity fully e-mobile Germans would consume: 105 terawatt hours (TWh), around 15 percent of the amount of electricity produced today.
No piece of cake, certainly; but with this additional need, the power supply would certainly not collapse. Almost half of the energy required is already being generated today. It’s just not needed at home. Germany sold 48 TWh of electricity abroad.
The country also has additional reserves, for example in the form of gas power plants. They are hardly used at the moment because green electricity has priority when feeding them into the grid, but they can be reactivated at any time. Contrary to many concerns, electricity would therefore be sufficiently available. The only question is: how much is it worth to drivers – and does it get exactly where it is needed at the right time? With the likes of charging electric cars on street lights overnight and similar technologies is hopefully the answer positive.
Without a question there are still many challenges to overcome on this long and winding road to mature e-mobile Germany. However, the pragmatic approach and proverbial commitment to carbon-free transport of tomorrow exhibited by the Federal Government on many occassions makes us believe that the biggest European economy will eventually succeed despite its somewhat slow start…

Ground-mounted or rooftop installation. Why is the price not the same?

Today we will look closer at an interesting topic: what is the difference between pricing rooftop installation and a ground-mounted power plant? And what are the differences between various kinds of rooftops?
The ground-mounted installations were already described in the last newsletter. Recently, it is harder and harder to find a suitable land for building photovoltaic installation. The solution may be the rooftop installation. In compare to building a photovoltaic on a agriculture field it’s better from the enviromental point of view and be practical – its a free space, which can be used for generating elektricity and have usually already prepared some infrastructure. Lets have a look on its the pricing!
When speaking about photovoltaic roof installation, first we need to think of the safety of our workers. And so our first questions before starting pricing are following: How will the workers’ safety be secured? How will the access to the roof be solved? Is there enough space around the building for lifting the materials to the roof? Only after answering these questions can we move to finding out the rest of the technical details. The most important fact is whether the roof is flat or sloping? And from which kind of material is the roof cover made? That pretty much defines the type of substructure which will be installed. Using some sophisticated subconstruction for a flat roof, or using the hanger bolts is approximately twice as time-consuming as using the minirails system on simply trapezoidal roof cover.
Rooftop installation is also more demanding in comparison to ground installation in other technical aspects. For example in the case of roofs, no cable under the modules can touch the roof (when it is raining, the cable would be in touch with water). The modules need to be connected to the invertors, which are usually at the bottom of the building. It means that the cables are laid in cabletrays for tens of meters between the roof and the invertor room. They must often be protected through fire insulation equipment.
Frankly speaking about rooftop installation prices, they are in generall higher than ground installation. The main reasons are: Safety of workers, more demanding technical requirements, harder distribution of material on roof itself.

Presenting a new members of GB team

Greenbuddies is growing and learning organisation. We need more and more skilled people to deliver excellence to our clients. We are proud that within a few previous months our team increased by 3 valuable members:

Liběna (Líba) – the Purchasing manager

Greenbuddies: Tell me how you first got involved with Greenbuddies.
Líba: When I do my work I always want to know that what I’m doing has a meaning. I have always been interested in alternative energy sources and mostly in renewable energy and a healthy approach to nature. When I found out that the company Greenbuddies was looking for a new employee in the sales department I didn’t think twice before calling in. After my first interview I was praying I would get selected.
Greenbuddies: What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done about Renewables/Solar industry?
Líba: I like the Dutch way: they are building FVE’s on roofs, parking spaces and greenhouses. The idea of building FVE’s on water by using bifacial solar panels is also interesting. Personally I would like to have solar panels on my roof.
Greenbuddies: If you wasn’t in Greenbuddies, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
Líba: If I wasn’t a part of Greenbuddies, I would like to be a part of Greenbuddies. 😊
Greenbuddies: What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
Líba: I like to paint, I play the clarinet and the saxophone.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Líba: I ride motorcycles and I’m building my own “Cafe Racer”. 😊

Denisa – sales & marketing administration

Greenbuddies: What’s the best/worst thing to happen since you started working with?
Denisa: When I started working with Greenbuddies, COVID was spreading across the whole world and I found myself working from home for 5 weeks. I don’t know exactly if that’s the best or the worst thing. But I was in touch with our team every day and we managed to make it through. Thank God for the internet! 😊
Greenbuddies: When your friends/family found out that you work in the Solar industry/Renewables, what did they say or ask?
Denisa: My family enthusiastically asked me: „Wow! We would like some solar panels on the roof of our house. Would you arrange it for us including the subsidy?“ 😀
Greenbuddies: How would (someone) describe you?
Denisa: Someone said: „Exact the best teams are comprised of a specialist and multipotencialist worked together. The specialist can dive in deep and implement ideas, but the multipotentialist brings a breath of knowledge to the project. It is a beautiful partnership.“ I´m so glad for our Greenbuddies team where I can be good support for the best specialists.
Greenbuddies: What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
Denisa: I’m a songwriter and I have played the guitar for 12 years.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Denisa: I walk my dog Sara – she is a German Shepherd from a shelter. And during weekends I spend my time with my husband at our cottage by the Vltava river.

Dan – sales support ( “guilty” for offer calculations)

Greenbuddies: Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Greenbuddies?
Dan: My dad who knew Aleš Spáčil and Aleš Damm from work. Actually, he was the one who put us together.
Greenbuddies: What surprised you the most about working with Greenbuddies?
Dan: When I first came in I was surprised there was no company hierarchy I was used to from my previous jobs. No manager offices. Actually, everybody was sitting together in an open space.
Greenbuddies: If you could change one thing about the Solar Industry, what would it be?
Dan: I would be glad if Czech society became more aware of the progress in the photovoltaics field and got rid of the negative approach which is primarily driven by the unfortunate subsidy program from some 10 years ago.
Greenbuddies: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Dan: Riding my bike. 😊
Greenbuddies: What would you tell someone who is thinking about building a PV plant?
Dan: Ask Greenbuddies to do the job, of course. 😊

We are looking for a new Project Manager! 10.06.2020

As a part of business development, we are looking for a new enthusiastic colleague for the position of:

Project Manager – Electromobility:

Main responsibility:

  • managing the implementation of selected contracts in the field of construction of charging station infrastructure in target countries.
  • Target markets 2020-1: Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, or other European countries, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Other responsibilities:

  • also include motivation, structuring and contracting of implementation units (installation companies or groups of individuals) for the implemented project, cooperation on budgeting of individual contracts, ongoing management and coordination of teams among themselves and optimization of their use with regard to knowledge and skills of members.
  • Continuous quality control of the course of implementation and to communicate the implementation of the construction with a foreign client within the limits of the concluded contractual relationship. As part of this communication, you will ensure the working conditions of the teams, technical and administrative documents and, if necessary, will recover payments from a foreign client. The content will include cooperation in the purchase of small materials or large components.
  • Final evaluation of the contract in terms of material and financial assessment.

The project manager may also be requested to perform other tasks related to the fulfillment of the economic objectives of Greenbuddies Charging, s.r.o.

What experience and qualities you should have:

  • 3 years of managerial experience in construction and electrical (including the construction of photovoltaic power plants or energy storage systems)
  • Experience in using programs for the preparation of project plans (EasyProject, etc.) and the ability to compile a project budget
  • Willingness to travel and work in a young start-up environment
  • Independence, creativity, own initiative, willingness to work on oneself
  • Experience in indirectly managed teams an advantage
  • Experience in the field of charging infrastructure for electromobility or energy storage is a major advantage as well as experience in the construction of renewable sources

What education should you have:

  • Technical education (eg construction, engineering or electrical)
  • Economic education or practical experience at the level of project budgeting, reporting and controlling
  • German verbally and in writing, English

What we can offer to you:

  • Work in a field that has the potential for rapid growth for the next few years
  • Excellent perspective of further professional development and progress in the company
  • Maximum support for colleagues during the initial phase of integration and orientation in the issue
  • Dynamic corporate culture of a smaller private company
  • The opportunity to really influence what is happening in society
  • Basic salary 45-55 thousand CZK depending on experience and qualifications
  • Variable components of wages in the form of percentages of profit

Contact:

Greenbuddies Charging, s.r.o.
Contact person: Aleš Damm
Email: ales.damm@greenbuddies.eu
Cell phone: +420 732 442 333
www.greenbuddies.eu

 

 

Greenbuddies tips – May 2020 31.05.2020

 I want to build a PV park: Quote me the price for  1 MW till tomorrow

In short,  this is the most common demand we receive on an everyday basis. In this short 4 part article series I would like to explore how an offer for the client is prepared and what tasks it contains. Today we start with ground mounting – general conditions, UK and modules, and in the next articles we will focus on roofs and then on DC and AC parts.

Speaking about ground projects, first of all we need to know the following info: where is the location? Secondly, we ask how far the preparations for development are. Has the client already asked for the construction permission, has the client already prepared the budget? Do we have some preliminary plans? Have the soil tests already been done? Is there good access to the ground? We can start to prepare the first steps based on the answers to these questions: to propose preliminary layout to find out if the space is sufficient; which modules are best to use – bigger or smaller?

Since the modules are the biggest part of the budget every penny counts. What is the best quality x price ratio? How are the modules delivered on the site? To the Harbor? Are the duties and taxes paid by the seller or the buyer? Which construction will be the best option with respect to the soil report and shall the modules be placed horizontally or vertically? This affects how the stringing will be done and how much cable will be needed. Also the orientation of the modules affects the production, because of the shading. The construction is usually rammed, but sometimes this is not possible. Then the predrill is needed and the post must be concreted. The particular dimensions and different solutions from different producers also affect how time consuming the mounting itself will be. I may have saved a little bit on material, but if the workers need twice as much time to build it, then I haven’t saved a dime.
Therefore it is always necessary to clear all the questions at the beginning so that we can propose and deliver the best solution that best meets the customers’ expectations. If the customer is happy, then we can all be satisfied with our work, and it gives you the energy to do your job with joy.

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Market footprint April 2020 19.04.2020

 

Greetings!
 
first of all let us wish you to stay safe and sane in this difficult time of life.
 
First quarter of 2020 was exactly on the planned volumes for us and despite of harsh environment we are absolutelly commited to be this year better than last year – from quality and also volumes point of view.
 
In Q1 we have added around 20 MW to our overal track record and some large, long term projects are in construction phase with target for completion in Q2. Details you can see – as every quarter – in our Market footprint.
 
Czech republic – home of most of our workers is in tough COVID lockdown and easy crossborder traffic is gone for some time. Nevertheless we have now about 120 people in Netherlands (75), Germany (32) and some of them at our second freefield installation in Malta.
 
Come to us and ask for a quote of our services! We are looking forward to again more healthy and open Europe  in order to boost our joined renewables efforts!
 
Best Regards

 

 

Greenbuddies Tips – April 2020 08.04.2020

PV Love In The Covid Times

The coronavirus pandemic has arrived finally to the renewable sector. In addition to slowing down the supplies from China, the challenge is now to find available human resources.

Mass measures against the spread of coronavirus are also beginning to be felt in the renewable sector according to Pv-magazine and Tagesspiegel, the German daily.
While the production of components for solar projects in China fell in the first two months of this year, their shortage began to be visible somewhat later. Although the production of PV panels in China has been strengthened again after a sharp decline in February, it is not 100% today. As a result, the order backlog keeps growing, rather than reducing supply delays. We felt it on some multimegawatt projects, where the delay in module delivery delayed the start of construction by up to 2 months. However if everything goes well, we will enjoy even more hectic autumn than every year.
At the moment, the lack of manpower for running projects is more critical: components started to arrive to construction sites, but due to the gradual tightening of cross-border movement, many Eastern European workers have returned home and photovoltaic power plants in Western Europe has no one to build.
Greenbuddies currently has over 120 staff permanently in Western Europe. Given that we are among the companies of the so-called “critical infrastructure”, we are gradually succeeding in bringing more workers for PV sites. However, it is extremely complex, we have to be extremely careful not to bring Coronavirus into our teams, and it is also extremely stressful for workers who have been working almost non-stop for many months in order to maintain the existing infrastructure and deliver new solar power plants.
Fortunately, we all realize that our people are in a relatively effective quarantine and in a healthy environment: where else would our people be in closed teams, in the fresh air, and naturally adhere to social distance of 2 meters than in the teams that work at roof or field solar powerplant!

Projects Zutphen & Bergambach

In these days we have finished two bigger projects which were under construction since autumn last year. Both of them are located in The Netherlands. The first one, where we were responsible for the mechanical completion of 33 MW was indeed challenging. Since the power plant is located in an area of water channels, unfortunately one old channel was not properly refilled with soil and once we started to distribute materials with heavy machinery, it was raining and so the soil became a marsh. Therefore a lot of materials were needed to be transported manually, because the heavy machinery was unable to cross the field. Even though this resulted in a 3 month delay, we successfully finished the construction while working under these extreme conditions. The second construction site near the city Zutphen was a 9 MW solar park, where we did both the mechanical and the electrical completion. Fortunately this site was better prepared than the previous one and all the work was carried out in accordance with the original time schedule. Fun facts: almost 6 km of earthing cable and more than 330 000 pcs of cable ties were used in these projects. We are more than happy to have delivered the power plant within the scheduled 3 months.

Czech Start-up Proves Electric Cars Can Be Made With Elegance & Style

MW Motors, a startup company located in Štěnovice, a town near Plzeň, West Bohemia, started to create a new electric car that defies the paradigm that battery powered cars need to be arguably as uniform and spirit-lacking as most of their large-batch combustion engine and BEV counterparts. The Luka EV, as the newly-born was named after the son of the company founder, has been recently joined by the second member of the MWM family, a military-style SUV Spartan. It is the first electric car to come to market with an authentic 4×4 functionality.
 
The Luka EV

The car is designed to be able to go acceptable 300 kilometers on a single charge. The two-door two-seater, in spite of its new technology, has a definitely retro look and is inspired by the Tatra JK 2500, a Czechoslovakprototype from 1956. It is also reminiscent of other famous sports cars from the 1960s such as the James Bond-cherished Aston Martin DB4 or the Reliant Sabre.The car is being marketed – similarly to the marketing approach of Cezeta and their popular electric restro-style „pig“ scooters – as having “style from the past, technology from the future.” “Our team set out to make a stylish M1 class car.” Engineers and researchers wanted to use lightweight and novel technologies to create a more efficient and smarter car. We have developed the first production car to use in-wheel hub motors. And what is more, MW Motors is ready to launch the car,” the company states on its website. In-hub wheel motors are common on electric bikes and scooters, however, what is worth mentioning here is that the Luka EV is the only current electric car to use the technology.  In the Luka EV, each in-wheel hub motor has 12.5 kW of power for a total output of 50 kW, or 66 horsepower.

The motors are powered by 21.9 kWh battery packs. Charging the battery to the full takes nine hours from a domestic single phase 220 V socket or roughly two hours with a three-phase rapid charger. clear advantage is that the electric motors do not occupy the space in the car, leaving more room for passengers and cargo. They also help to create a lower center of gravity. This two-seater coupe is remarkably light, weighing only 815 kg. It measures 4050 mm in length, 1620 mm wide and 1220 mm in height. Luka EV is an entirely unique project. The combination of its light weight and battery pack capacity enables you to drive for less and further. We aimed at efficiency and the end result is an ultralight, all-electric, highway certified passenger car,” MW Motors states. Acceleration from zero to 100 km / h takes 9.6 seconds, the top speed is 146 km / h. The interior will have standard leather upholstery. Air conditioning, power windows, infotainment and navigation will be standard. The car is made from fiberglass on an aluminum chassis. The performance figure is approximate and these days is being certified by a lab. Crash testing has also yet to take place. Based on the latest information from the manufacturer the Luka EV will be available in the end of second quarter or beginning of third quarter this year, and lead times may range between 3-5 months in line with the actual demand.

MWM Spartan

The Spartan range, which has been recently announced by MW Motors, is based on the legendary 4×4 Hunter platform produced by long-term proven UAZ, Russia, frequently used in the past by Czech Army. Featuring battery packs from 56 kWh to 90 kWh and a correspondingly powerful electric drivetrain the car combining MWM electrification technology and the UAZ 4×4 platform is believed to be a perfect match for customers who have been neglected by global car manufacturers. Target segments for Spartan are genuine 4×4 enthusiasts, the farming community, forestry industry, extreme aktivity aficionados & under-ground mining companies.Simply anyone who cares about rugged pure performance and not stylish fancy interiors with heaps of options and accessories. We may argue that MWM Spartan is a thoughtfully selected name denominating this vehicle that does pretend to be something else than what it really is: heavy duty companion for hard working conditions, fairly easy to maintain and fix whenever needed. Important remark also revolves around nowadays so frequently used term „sustainability“. I find it fascinating that unlike other car manufacturer brands who most often tend to build large factories that naturally carry pretty significant environmental impacts. MW Motors has cleverly decided to use existing UAZ (Ulyanovskij Avtomobilnyj Zavod) factories in Russian Federation and match them with MWM own world class finishing facilities in Europe. What a simple and highly practical idea! By the way, let me finally unveil the company brand abbreviation MWM which stands for Marcus Ward Motors, and bears the name of the founder, head designer, and lead mechanic for MW Motors. MW Motors is no the only Czech company working on electric cars. Škoda Auto, member of the VW group and the country’s largest exporter, has promised a range of electric cars that will be launched by 2025. I do’t know if you agree but I keep my fingers crossed for every entrepreneur who has the courage to challenge the big players and is willing to break the existing rules and customs. Clearly Marcus Ward is one of them and undoubtedly deserves the credit for returning to so-long forgotten practice of manufacturing cars with unique identity and true spirit. Lots of success MW Motors!

Greenbuddies tips – March 2020 20.03.2020

What are EU ambitions in energy sector in near future?

​​​​​​​New leadership of EU has declared quite clearly that the decarbonization of all areas in EU will be high priority over next years.Before Christmas came Ursula von der Leyen, the president of European Commission with a “green deal” a package of goals and plans how to decrease greenhouse gas emissions over next decades.

The new leadership of the EU is even more ambitious in the field of the sustainability and emissions cutting than the government of the J.C. Juncker. For example the current goal of reding the CO2 emissions is to lower it by 40% by 2030 in compare to year 1990. Now regarding the released drafts of the green deal this goal should be increased to minimum 50 %, ideally up to 55 %. As stated by the European Commission, energy sector is responsibly for more than 75 % o the EU´s greenhouse gas emissions.

The new cabinet also considers as one of the steps to set up an import duty on the products being imported in the EU. Since the producers in EU are obliged to buy the CO2 allowances, this carbon tax would ensure that producers out of EU couldn’t take leverage of milder CO2 regulation in the third countries and produce and import their product cheaper.

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Greenbuddies tips – February 2020 25.02.2020

Roof projects arrived from Solar Solutions 2019

 

​​​​​​​As the Solar Solutions 2020 is just approaching we are keen to say that this event is worthwhile: last year we had a small and simple stand at the ”outskirts” of the exhibition hall. But the effect was remarkable. Within this time we have met most of the important people from Dutch Solar milieu and made a lot of business acquaintances.
One of the most important business friendships based on Solar Solutions became a connection to a strong Dutch PV company Zonel Energy, which is on the market since 2011. Zonel Energy is an EPC player of a strong calibre and requested us to construct 2 PV projects on large roofs – 2,7 MW and 1,7 MW and plenty of small and mid size projects within one year. We have done everything to delight our clients client (the end-investors) and we are convinced that it worked well.
Both the two largest project are based on Sunbeam substructure and we had in peak 45 staff working on it. For vertical transport we operated mobile crane which was driven along the side of the building to shorten the time needed for handling of the material on the roof. The biggest advantage was that both the roofs were designed and constructed with a view of future rooftop PV – the area on the roof was free of obstacles and shadowing objects. The components were coming (within a good industry standard) on time and an informal working relations with Zonel started to bring good results since the beginning. Therefore the time expectation was met and snag list was almost non-existing.

We are keen to continue partnering with Zonel and heading to bigger and more demanding projects in the future. Stay tuned please – we will talk about it.
This year we are having one of the biggest fair booths in the fair area; smartly designed and also promoting our other services including turnkey construction of EV charging infrastructure. See you there!

 

V2G​​​​​​​

Also hate three-letter abbreviations? Here’s one you’d better like: V2G !

When we stepped into the world of EV charging one year ago we were certain there would be a lot of uncertainties like for any young industry segment. Very soon we realized that yet there is one sure thing – speed of technology evolution will be constantly increasing making it extremely difficult to follow all the advancements in various technology segments.
While working on one project in the Netherlands I came across the term „V2G“ or „vehicle to grid“ if you will. Charging technology which has been developped already some years ago but until recently it did not proliferate into practical applications that much.
What is it then?
Simply said „Vehicle to grid“ technology enables energy stored in electric vehicles to be fed back into the national electricity network to help supply energy at times of peak demand. It’s just one technological advancement in a plethora of new initiatives like ‘smart charging’ and ‘demand side response’ that are aimed at changing the way individuals, and businesses, use energy in the future. In short: the electric car revolution is tied into a whole new way of handling energy.

How can it benefit different stakeholders? We’re rushing towards a place where ‘two-way’ electric car chargers can enable homeowners with electric cars to sell their energy back to the national network. It’s a smart idea when you consider that over 90% of cars are parked at any one time – which is a lot of energy just sitting there doing nothing. This technology will give you the opportunity to manage your energy your way, and potentially become energy self-sufficient, reducing everyone’s reliance on energy companies. Get solar panels fitted, then adopt vehicle to grid technology and your home could easily become a private mini-power station. It also means that this modern technology may help EV owners to make money by selling at appropriate times energy back to energy suppliers. In addition, it helps to balance national elektricity network.
This all added up means that the increasing number of electric cars bolstered by innovative technologies may turn batteries of those vehicles into energy storage systems having positive impact for car owners in the form of potential revenues for sold elektricity as well as power suppliers and distributors in that it will help them to balance the grid. In final effect you may think of cleaner air, smarter homes, increase of energy self-sufficiency – all pretty exciting stuff, don’t you think?

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